Beckham visits Marlins Park as possible temporary (but only temporary) soccer home

Would-be Miami MLS owner David Beckham has finally dropped some hints about where his expansion team would play, at least in the short term, touring Marlins Park yesterday and telling Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez that Florida International University’s football stadium is under consideration as well.

Neither is really ideal: Marlins Park is configured for baseball, not soccer, and scheduling would be complicated given that the MLS and MLB seasons overlap. (Though the new New York City F.C. team is likely to share the Yankees‘ stadium at first; plus, in Miami even if they played both sports simultaneously, it’s not like there would be any baseball fans to get in the way.) FIU Stadium is the right size (20,000 seats) and has hosted soccer before, but has been rejected by MLS as a permanent solution because … actually, I’m not sure why. Because it’s not soccer-only? Because it’s too far from downtown Miami? Too close to Jose Canseco Street? Your guess is as good as mine.

Anyway, Beckham is planning to submit his application for an expansion franchise by the end of the year, and given that his last player contract included an option to get a team, it’s unlikely the league will turn him down, whatever his stadium situation. Though it’s likely you’ll see commissioner Don Garber rattle some sabers about how Miami’s new team won’t survive, can’t be successful, will succumb to a plague of locusts, etc., if Beckham isn’t gifted with a soccer-only stadium like the kids down the road. That’s the kind of threat that any new sports team owner would welcome.


4 comments on “Beckham visits Marlins Park as possible temporary (but only temporary) soccer home

  1. Could be something as simple as the turf at FIU that’s deterring MLS. The league does have fake grass stadiums in areas that somewhat require it like the rainy northwest or where they were shoehorned into their owners football stadium in Foxboro. But by and large they’ve been trying to make sure their teams play on real grass. Hell even BMO Field switched back to real grass in 2010. There’s few things more abhorrent to MLS or its fans these days than playing on fake grass with football lines like FIU stadium has currently. That and it is as you say 15 miles from downtown where Marlin’s Park borders downtown.

  2. Dan – I bet the football lines are a bigger issue than the fake grass to be honest. The differences in play quality between real and fake grass aren’t as noticeable as they were when they were using the old astroturf but nothing says bush-league quite like the mixed lines on the field.

    It’s not as though MLS is alone in this regard – remember way back in the day when half of the early season NFL games featured baseball diamonds?

  3. Phil, depends on the state and school. The San Jose Earthquakes have been selling booze at their college campus stadium since they came back from their 2 year hiatus in 2008. And they sold beer at Spartan Stadium before that too, also on a college campus.